International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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arvin
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arvin » 22 Jun 2020 09:42

Thanks brar for the great post. Things much clearer between Tejas which is combat optimized, composite make and T-7 which is training optimized and aluminium make.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jun 2020 18:32

arvin wrote:Thanks brar for the great post. Things much clearer between Tejas which is combat optimized, composite make and T-7 which is training optimized and aluminium make.


Yeah that and probably other things as well. Interestingly, if you look at what Northrop developed for this competition (they designed their product much ahead of mature requirements), there you'll see a predominantly composite design. The one-piece, three-spar composite wing structure and other design changes they made were probably with cost, and weight in mind. Boeing optimized its design for the maneuvering, speed and high alpha performance the USAF desired and they kept it low cost by just keeping it simple which will make it cheaper for them to build at scale (USAF wants a peak production rate of 60/year) and for USAF maintainers, who are moving from the T-38 Talon, to maintain it with less of a learning curve than what something that utilizes advanced composites would have entailed. So it is a win-win. They also shaved design and test time by borrowing parts from other programs already on contract (like the F-16's landing gear).

Now if Boeing were to make a combat aircraft derivative they would be at a major disadvantage in terms of weight that they could have shaved off had they gone in for composites but even in the most unlikely/rare scenario any combat capability demand for this platform will essentially be for a bomb hauler (as opposed to a full fledged combat fighter) or perhaps a red-air adversary aircraft so none of that is going to matter a whole lot. So they have an advantage with this trainer_optimized/centered design because it has the performance that places it at the top of the trainer market, and given EOS and some of the design decisions Boeing made, they can churn it out at a fly away cost of around $20 Million a pop and the USAF's (and probably USN's) installed base will be attractive for product support and future enhancements.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arvin » 22 Jun 2020 22:17

brar_w wrote:
Now if Boeing were to make a combat aircraft derivative they would be at a major disadvantage in terms of weight that they could have shaved off had they gone in for composites but even in the most unlikely/rare scenario any combat capability demand for this platform will essentially be for a bomb hauler (as opposed to a full fledged combat fighter) or perhaps a red-air adversary aircraft so none of that is going to matter a whole lot. So they have an advantage with this trainer_optimized/centered design because it has the performance that places it at the top of the trainer market, and given EOS and some of the design decisions Boeing made, they can churn it out at a fly away cost of around $20 Million a pop and the USAF's (and probably USN's) installed base will be attractive for product support and future enhancements.


Yes as a bonus it can be used as a bomb hauler with no extra investment made in design. Considering it was able to shave off $10 billion from USAF planned estimated cost by frugal engineering it will be reluctant to put any more money for upgrade and will only be interested in recoveries.
The reason M346 withdrew from the contest was also money, since Raytheon wanted to cut leonardo's idea by as much as 30%.
https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... -leonardo/
There is a lesson here for HAL if it decides to pursue LCA-SPORT. First its a composite plane. Then it will have to invest extra money of its own to redesign and reconfigure unwanted stuff inside. And then compete with boeing on price point.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jun 2020 22:53

arvin wrote:The reason M346 withdrew from the contest was also money, since Raytheon wanted to cut leonardo's idea by as much as 30%.


M-346 didn't withdraw. The initial partnership with GD soon evaporated once initial requirements were revealed. Raytheon would have happily accepted Leonardo's terms had the aircraft and proposal been competitive. As it is, there were likely some exceptions made to the final RFP to fully accommodate it (see below). Some of the requirements shared in the initial RFIs from back in 2016/17 would have made it tough for the M-346 to compete. Probably still, I doubt that Leonardo fully supplied actual flight test data for what they were proposing. It was likely a mix of baseline data on the current aircraft with some changes and their potential impact. Boeing flew just enough flights to supply 100% of the data the USAF demanded. Lockheed did the same with the T-50 they brought in to the US.

The US Air Force is not backing away from the ambitious sustained g requirement for its T-X next-generation trainer that has sidelined at least two proposed aircraft types and driven competitors toward clean-sheet designs...

However, the service's initial set of requirements – posted in March – narrowed the field and caused the primes to reassess their initial offers, with General Dynamics parting ways with Alenia Aermacchi and Northrop reconsidering its Hawk offer in favour of a clean-sheet design.


In a 10 July statement, the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) confirmed that the minimum T-X sustained g requirement of 6.5g and objective of 7.5g remains unchanged from the key performance parameter published in March, even though it would exclude a number of viable trainer options from the competition...

This pushes out the T-100, which its Italian manufacturer says can sustain 5.3g at 15,000ft. The Hawk is also out of the race. "If you score us on how much sustained g you can pull, we'll lose every time,” one BAE business development manager told Flightglobal back in 2011.

Boeing and Saab, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed have each said they are working on clean-sheet designs, although the nimble Lockheed-KAI T-50 still appears to be a viable contender.

LINK



The sustained G requirement was specified at 15,000 ft altitude, sustained for a minimum of 140 degrees of a 180 degree turn (if you hit say 6.5 G for less than 140 degrees, and 6 G's for the remainder of the 180 degree turn, you would be scored as 6G capable) with no more than a 2,000 ft loss in altitude (at the end of the maneuver) and no more than 10% of the 0.9 Mach entry speed should have been lost. It is believed that Boeing was chasing the objective (7.5 G) for this requirement as this offered the biggest upside in terms of receiving credit for achieving objective, as opposed to threshold, performance. Again, the challenge wasn't meeting performance but doing so without breaking the bank as your bid was a FIRM FIXED PRICE bid and if you were selected as the lowest bid ( with adjustments made downwards to account for higher performance so second or third lowest bid could have been judged as best value) you had to deliver on the promised price, volume and schedule.

arvin wrote:The reason M346 withdrew from the contest was also money, since Raytheon wanted to cut leonardo's idea by as much as 30%.


I think it is reasonable to deliver value by undercutting competition on cost, if you can't deliver the same via better performance. If you are near the bottom in terms of performance (once BAE decided not to bid the M-346, as capable as it is, was near or at the bottom), and near the top in terms of price then that doesn't really help much at all.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 23 Jun 2020 18:04

Still no pictures of F/A-18 E/F's or Typhoons dropping inert nukes :mrgreen:

F-35A Dropping Inert B61-12 Nuclear Bombs During DCA (Dual Capable Aircraft) Tests

The photos distributed to the DVIDS distribution service provide additional details about the dates when the tests were carried out: the first separation test with AF-1 flown by Jason Shulze was conducted on Jun. 27, 2019; sixth separation test with AF-1 (pilot unspecified) was carried out on Nov. 7, 2019; first separation test from AF-6 flown by Major Chris ‘Beast’ Taylor was conducted on Nov. 25, 2019. Separation test #6 with AF-1 was carried out with F-35 AF-01 flown by Major Rachael “Banshee” Winiecki on Feb. 6, 2020. A more recent test with AF-6 was carried out on Apr. 2, 2020 (no additional detail can be gathered about this test).

“the B61-12 represent the latest LEP (Life-Extention Program) upgrade to the B61 line of nuclear weapons that has already been extensively tested with the F-15E Strike Eagles of the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, back in 2015.

The Life Extension Program or LEP, will replace the B61 -3, -4, -7, and -10 mods, with the -12 that, along with the B83, will become the only remaining gravity delivered nukes in the inventory.

The B61-12 gravity bomb ensures the current capability for the air-delivered leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear triad well into the future for both bombers and dual-capable aircraft supporting NATO,” said Paul Waugh, AFNWC’s Air-Delivered Capabilities director in a U.S. Air Force release dated Apr. 13 (more or less when the world learned about the first use of the famous MOAB in Afghanistan). The B61-12 will be compatible with the B-2A, B-21, F-15E, F-16C/D, F-16 MLU, F-35 and PA-200 aircraft.

With the integration of the B61-12, the “iconic nuclear fighter role, performed in the past by the F-15E and F-16, is being passed to the F-35A to play a future role in national security.” Other partner nations are slated to transfer the NATO nuclear role to the F-35A in the future.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 23 Jun 2020 21:02

Australia begins the search for its Next Gen. training solution to replace the Hawk which they would ideally like to fully replace by 2026 the currently scheduled retirement time frame. The T-7A enters its Operational Test and Evaluation in early-mid 2023 and early 2023 is also when Low Rate Initial Production will begin to provide aircraft for USAF's mid 2024 IOC.

Canberra kicks off search for new advanced jet trainer


Canberra has commenced the search for a new advanced jet trainer to replace BAE Systems Hawk 127s operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

A request for information (RFI) for the Air 6002 Phase 1 requirement was issued on 1 June, says the Australian Department of Defence.“Defence is yet to fully define the requirements for Air 6002 Phase 1 Future Lead-in Fighter Training System,” it says.

“However, aircraft performance and aircraft mission systems that bridge between the pilot training system and fast jet conversion courses will be critical requirements. The Future Lead-in Fighter Training System will be expected to remain relevant to its role in training fast jet aircrew and supporting joint force training, to be adaptable to those needs as they evolve, to be affordable, and to be safe out to an indicative timeframe of 2050.”

Of major trainer manufacturers, BAE, Boeing and Leonardo all say they are interested in the requirment.

BAE is upbeat about the prospects for its long-running platform. “The Hawk is the world’s most successful and proven military aircraft trainer, built on more than 35 years of experience training pilots for the world’s leading air forces. For more than 20 years, we have worked in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force to ensure it has the pilots it requires… and we believe Hawk is the proven solution to continue this partnership.”

Boeing plans to pitch its developmental T-7A Red Hawk, having briefed on the jet at the Avalaon Airshow in February 2019. “[The] T-7A Red Hawk is an all-new advanced pilot training system designed for the US Air Force training mission, with the flexibility to evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change. It includes trainer aircraft, ground-based training and support – designed together from the start.”

Leonardo says it will offer the M-346, which it claims is the ideal platform for training future pilots of the Lockheed Martin F-35. It notes that the M-346 is operated by Israel, Italy, Poland and Singapore, all of which are current or prospective operators of the Joint Strike Fighter.

“The M-346 training system is cost-effective and state-of-the-art, with the reliability of a fully developed programme, representing a competitive and no-risk solution compared with the alternatives,” says Leonardo.

Korea Aerospace Industries, which produces the T-50 advanced jet trainer, tells FlightGlobal that it is reviewing the RFI.

Cirium fleets data shows that the RAAF operates 33 Hawk 127s.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SBajwa » 24 Jun 2020 02:58

ISRO does have a program called ADMIRE to reuse the first stage of various rockets. check below


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 24 Jun 2020 07:17

For geeks, who want some details on manufacturing rockets. ULA CEO conducts tour.

54 minutes long.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 24 Jun 2020 07:58

Very interesting addendum. Guidance, autonomous updating of data, why Russian engines, Blue Origin engines, etc

15:00 minutes


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Jun 2020 18:51

Translation: Units of the US Army in Japan, including the 3rd Wing and the 35th Fighting Wing belonging to Misawa Air Base, conducted "Elephant Walk".

 This is the first time that the US and Japan have jointly conducted the "Elephant Walk".

 In this "Elephant Walk," the Air Self-Defense Force F-35A, US Air Force F-16CM, MC-130J, US Navy EA-18, C-12, and P-8 aircraft work together on the runway. I marched while majesticly taxiing (sliding on the ground).

 Such efforts that symbolize a strong Japan-US alliance can be implemented only at the Misawa base, which is used jointly by the US and Japan.

LINK


Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 26 Jun 2020 18:10

Some pretty cool footage of the CH-47 and M777 LWH operations -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Prem » 27 Jun 2020 02:58

https://usadefensenews.com/2020/06/26/u ... guam-base/
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2021 has sought fighter jet training detachments for India, Japan, and Australia in Guam.
The NDAA 2021 was introduced in the US Senate on Thursday.The decision comes around 6 months after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed an MOU with Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen for the latter to set up a similar pilot training detachment in Guam.The bill emphasizes on the Pacific Deterrence Initiative of the US Military and to focus more resources on the Indo-Pacific region.Furthermore, the act proposes the procurement of 48 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs), to be deployed in the Indo-Pacific region.AA also seeks acceleration in the effort to establish F-35A operating locations forward in the Indo-pacific region.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 28 Jun 2020 12:42

And you thought you understood "stealth ". Plesse watch the vid in the following and watch how F-35Bs actually vanish into thin air.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HMSQNLZ/stat ... 9966443520

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 29 Jun 2020 22:22

ChanakyaM wrote:
idan wrote:American THAAD is still in Israel. In all likelihood we can see a THAAD in action in Ladakh and that will be a strong message to the dilly-dallying Russians.

A simple compare of THAAD and S400 shows the deficiencies of THAAD, so what additional help do we expect by trying to deploy THAAD?(if the amrikans give it to us).


“Simple look” is really not sufficient for a well educated comparison. These systems aren’t solving the same “problem” so any “deficiency” being attributed to either system needs to be well thought out.

What operational problem does THAAD solve? It solves the problem or saturated Ballistic missile attacks from safer havens where "TEL hunting" becomes challenging (think IRBM ranged missiles that can be launched from farther away from the target. Even some ICBM class capability is coming shortly to THAAD) and the discrimination problem associated with the more sophisticated ballistic missiles capable of employing decoys or other advanced countermeasures. This is the reason it has a MW class X-Band AESA (now upgraded to GaN for more range and sensitivity which makes it the largest and most powerful mobile GaN radar in the world) the size of a school bus instead of a more efficient S or L band system. This is also the reason that a typical battery operates with around 48 missiles loaded in launchers with additional on stand by and a radar that is constantly staring at an air/space and searching for just one type of target.

So if you were protecting a tactical defended area with a composite unit (call it a battalion though this isn’t used by its current operator ) with two “traditional” batteries and say three radars (2 with the "batteries" + 1 stand-alone) you now have nearly 100 missiles packed and linked up with the ability to remote launch ( launchers with missiles could be miles away) and daisy chained radar and launcher combinations to expand coverage. That's just at the current US deployed levels. THAAD can handle a 50% increase in magazine from what the US Army currently operates, without any system change or upgrade.

Same why the stand alone TPY-2 radar is used to provide better discrimination and OTH cuing to US Navy’s S band AEGIS radars. So comparisons with the S-400 aren’t justified as these systems aren’t solving the same problem and aren’t architectured for similar challenges. For the unique challenges THAAD has been designed to solve (TBM attacks on concentrated Military targets in an expeditionary environment) it stands apart in terms of current and planned capability. Likewise, as a long range air and missile defense system the S-400 too stands apart provided that it comes with the newer active seeker interceptor. They aren't even remotely designed to confront similar challenges though both fall under the general "Missile Defense" systems list.

Cain Marko wrote:
SSridhar wrote:The Americans wanted us to buy THAAD instead of S-400

True. But we didn't want an ABM, not when we have one of our own. What was needed was a SAM system with ultra long range. The s400 does that at multiple levels...400km, 200km, 120km and finally 40km. Basically it is a very powerful multi layered system with effective AIRBM capacity. Thaad, I'm not sure has this comprehensive capability. Totally different.


Can't compare the two systems when it comes to BMD capability. THAAD is 100% focused on the Anti MRBM and IRBM mission and has residual ICBM capability on the way (like 3-4 years away). It has a dedicated high power BMD radar that is looking up, for the very specific threat, all the time and has the capability to discriminate higher end RV's amidst advanced CMs (very powerful X band AESA radar, with the most optimal band for advanced discrimination). It also has dedicated Hit-to-kill long range interceptors that can create that 200 km defended area against the relevant threat type (MRBM and IRBM) which is very different from what dual-purpose interceptors are capable of (their TBM envelope is much smaller compared to long range shots based on a lofted profile against a slower target flying at sub 50K ft. altitudes). Plus it brings volume for counter-raid performance - The organic battery is capable of supporting up to 72 interceptors with 9 launchers as a baseline. A high number of launchers per battery, and a high number of missiles per launcher means that you can handle raids easier and better without having to take launchers out to reload them. I don't think anyone looking to compare BMD capability will have any sort of doubt as to which system is specifically tailored to this threat vs which has some residual capability to support it. THAAD is specifically designed to provide extended range protection (against up to 4,500 km ranged ballistic missiles) over a defended area measured in the hundreds of km. With the Increment 2 interceptor that should double if not increase more.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Jun 2020 06:15

^thanks for the confirmation Brar.. how do the drdo aad/pad compare vs thaad? Iirc drdos next challenge was longer ranged 5k class bm...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 30 Jun 2020 06:35

Cain Marko wrote:^thanks for the confirmation Brar.. how do the drdo aad/pad compare vs thaad? Iirc drdos next challenge was longer ranged 5k class bm...


Comparisons needn't matter. BMD systems are designed around user requirements and specific threats. US has no ballistic missile threats coming from Canada or Mexico. It designs its theater systems for expeditionary use and as such breaks capability down into systems that all three services bring to the fight (USAF controls all the space and EW portion). So THAAD slots in between the very long range BMD capability that AEGIS provides from the sea (protecting land targets) and the short range coverage, against short and medium ranged missiles, that the PATRIOT provides.

THAAD has residual capability against ICBM (radar can see at distance, C2 can handle the tracks etc) and as an ASAT system as well (this was confirmed during Burnt Frost when senior US officials mentioned publicly that they could have also done it with THAAD).

THAAD was always meant to cover the high SRBM to IRBM threat but its operational capability demonstrations were designed to pace a threat which was MRBM capability at the time, but has grown to advanced IRBM (with decoys) capability since then. When they deployed to the Pacific this was important (Chinese MRBM's and IRBM's are more capable than Iran's). To keep pace, THAAD was tested against advanced MRBM targets, with and without decoys, and the envelope expanded progressively to validate the IRBM capability. As threats mature further I'm sure they'll open up additional IRBM capability. The system has it..its only a matter of developing those target missiles and demonstrating that credibly so you have confidence when it is deployed against that threat. Ballistic Missile capability is only as good as the cadence with which you test and demonstrate it and how much you invest in your threat systems (and how representative they are to your actual threats). THAAD has had 17 straight intercepts in testing and operational unit demonstrations IIRC. Majority of those targets have represented threats the US expected to encounter at the time (hence early target capability was heavily MRBM focused). In the next 3-5 years, expect more longer range and higher capability (CM's) targets being tested to fully demo the capability against the IRBM threat. This will then blend into the ICBM territory with the increment 2 interceptor which is a short term development.

Similarly, the US expects its air-bases and troop concentrations to come under saturated attacks on a consistent basis and as such the THAAD organic battery was desired to be 72 loaded missiles in its 9 launchers. This would provide a ripple fired Exo and Endo intercept strategy (dubbed look-shoot-look-shoot (one exo shot followed by one terminal endo shot at the same target)) for every long ranged weapon and you could continue to stay in the fight for longer without having to constantly resupply and have non operational launchers. Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles (IIRC) at 2 air-bases that they KNEW had no BMD capability. What would that calculation have looked like if they new this was defended? Current and future raid-scenarios have to be factored in when developing systems. And this will be user specific. Now they want to tip over into the ICBM envelope (at least the lower end ICBM ranged weapons) and provide a second layer to US homeland defense BMD capability. This follows the Gallium Nitride upgrade to the radar which increases range, sensitivity and the discrimination capability which was already best in class (along with SBX) given the band they chose to operate in (discrimination trumps raw range on the TPY-2).

US BMD program, at the theater level, is tiered. THAAD is the upper tier which handles threats between 50 km (altitude) and 150 km (altitude). The upper end of this limit will likely more than double with the increment 2 interceptor. The PATRIOT, the lower tier system, handles threats below 50 km altitude though next year, the THAAD organic battery will be capable of adding 2 x PAC-3 MSE launchers (24 total missiles) which would give it the ability to also do lower tier intercepts organically (it can do it now by providing targting for a PAC-3 MSE launched by a dedicated PATRIOT battery). This way, these sensors (TPY-2 operating in FB or Terminal modes handling upper tier threats, PATRIOT radar (and LTAMDS in the future) and TPS-59 handling lower tier threats) and shooters cover portions of the air and space allowing more optimal solutions given specific threat types with some envelope overlap which is now getting wider (THAAD is acquiring lower tier capability with MSE missile and launchers, while PATRIOT is expected to acquire upper tier capability via its next generation interceptor).

No two BMD needs are similarly architectured. Threats are different and so are needs and doctrine. This applies to the broader Air-Defense systems as well. Israel for example slices its systems differently between the Arrow and the David's Sling+PATRIOT. Even though the US MDA plays an advisory and SE role in most of their BMD programs. Their threats are different and at different ranges with different capabilities. As are raid sizes you envision. At this point, nearly 100% of US PATRIOT and THAAD development is being dictated by ballistic missile raid threats from China and Iran. This is reflected in their magazine sizes.

A normal PAC-3 or MSE load out is anywhere between 12 to 16 missiles per launcher. This when coupled with THAAD provides triple digit interceptors protecting troop concentrations and theater level deployments. Is that enough or is it an overkill? That is doctrine dependent. You can't win a war with missile defense or even defend against all missiles. Missile Defense then is a capability that you buy in order to deter and hold for long enough to destroy the enemies capability in other ways (degrade its capability to target you). Given the ability of the USAF and USN to create and maintain air-superiority, it is logical for the US threats to pepper them with ballistic missiles. It is cheaper than to try to take them on with air power. So BMD systems (either land or sea based) have evolved to counter that and these interceptor concentrations have to keep people alive long enough for the USAF/USN to degrade missile delivery and targeting capability utilizing their airpower.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Jul 2020 06:42

US appears to confirm expanded F-15QA buy for Qatar


The United States appears to have confirmed an expanded procurement by Qatar of the Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle combat aircraft, with recent Department of Defense (DoD) articles and notifications referring to a larger number than officially contracted.

The Gulf state is currently contracted to receive 36 of the latest-generation multirole fighters, with a deal signed in December 2017. However, since at least late-May the DoD has issued no fewer than three official statements in which it has referred to a buy of 48 aircraft. The US State Department initially cleared Qatar to buy 72 aircraft, so this expanded procurement would be in line with current Congressional approvals.

On 23 May the DoD disclosed that the US Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Doha-based company BAH-ICM JV to build facilities for the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF’s) new fleet. In the notification, the department said; “The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) purchase of forty-eight (48) F-15QA aircraft improves the State of Qatar's capability to meet current and future enemy air-to-air and air-to-ground threats”. Janes noted this discrepancy in the numbers at the time, but as it was the first such occurrence this suggested that it may have been in error.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 02 Jul 2020 01:12

South Korea to buy 20 TA-50 Block 2s from KAI for $562 million.

Surprisingly, it still doesn't have a targeting pod or BVRAAM integrated. And yet, thanks to the fact that KAI has marketed it well and it serves the basic fast jet needs of some nations, it has received export orders. The Tejas Mk1 itself is far superior in terms of combat capabilities to the FA-50, both in strike and air to air missions. Just look at the size of the radome on the FA-50 and one can realise that the diameter of the radar on it will be significantly smaller than on the Tejas. Which means smaller range for detection and tracking of aerial and ground targets. The Mk1A with the AESA radar will be even further ahead unless KAI works on a drastic upgrade of the FA-50.

The fact that the FA-50 (and all T-50, TA-50) variants have a second seat, it takes up a significant volume of space that other single seat light fighters would use for a fuel tank. As it is, the FA-50's limited capabilities hardly require a second WSO or pilot in the backseat. The most sensible option would be to modify the FA-50 to a single seater and use the freed up volume to add an integral fuel tank, but looks like they're exploring CFTs instead.

From AW&ST

Image

SEOUL, BEIJING—The South Korean defense ministry has ordered a second batch of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) TA-50s, reportedly totaling 20 aircraft, as lead-in fighter trainers.

Separately, KAI and the defense ministry are looking at improving a related attack version of the KAI T-50 family.

Announcing the order on June 29, KAI valued it at 688 billion won ($562 million). The ministry said it was worth 1 trillion won—a figure that the Edaily news service said included airframes, engines, simulators and maintenance equipment.

As is common when South Korea contracts for defense equipment, neither the ministry nor supplier mentioned the quantity to be supplied. The Maeil Business and Kyunghyang Shinmun newspapers said the number was 20.

The agreement takes domestic orders for KAI’s T-50 family to 164 aircraft, divided among the T-50, TA-50 and FA-50 versions. The company also has booked export orders for 64 aircraft of the type.

The ministry said the TA-50s would be of a Block 2 sub-variant. It received 22 TA-50s (of what is now presumably called the Block 1 sub-variant) in 2011-12.

In contrast to simpler jet trainers, lead-in fighter trainers offer more of the functions of a fighter for pilots to practice on. The T-50 family is powered by the General Electric F404 engine.

On May 21 the ministry’s Agency for Defense Development said it would conduct “pre-concept research” on upgrading the FA-50, which is designed for ground attack. Options to be considered and compared include increasing range by fitting conformal fuel tanks, integrating a targeting pod to improve ground-attack capability, and integrating beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles.


KAI also said it is pursuing improved performance for the FA-50, including longer range and stronger armament “in sync with the requirements of the overseas potential clients.”

Since the company is in the midst of a challenging program to develop the KF-X, it may not immediately have engineering resources to spare for an FA-50 upgrade.

The T-50 is equipped only as a trainer. The TA-50, designed for training and attack, has an Elta EL/M-2032 fire-control radar, mission computer and a gun, and it can be armed with bombs and air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. The FA-50 is a TA-50 with such additional equipment as a radar warning receiver and countermeasures dispensers.


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jul 2020 01:19

Nations will continue to be attracted towards training solutions being upgraded to serve limited combat duties like a light attack aircraft, or a point defense fighter. The "two birds with one stone" argument resonates well with bean counters and fleet planners. This is the same reason why the Master has an attack variant and why the M-346FA has already picked up a customer. Both companies seem to have done with international marketing and product support. Trainer like economics for light combat duties is a very good value proposition and there is a market out there even if only the combat side of the solution is adopted. Whether the reverse is true (whether the LCA MK1A as a higher end fighter can attract customers by offering a trainer variant) remains to be seen. If I were to guess, I'd venture that it would be the higher end variants, and their associated combat capability, that will be attractive for potential LCA export customers. Not the fact that you could squeeze other roles out of it with a sub-variant.

Armuan
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Armuan » 02 Jul 2020 12:15

~$28 million a pop including simulators and equipment. A decent capability for smaller air forces if you don't want to be in China's MIC orbit (~1,100 mile range, 3.7 tons stores). What other aircrafts are out there that offer similar performance? Thanks.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jul 2020 18:16

Armuan wrote:~$28 million a pop including simulators and equipment. A decent capability for smaller air forces if you don't want to be in China's MIC orbit (~1,100 mile range, 3.7 tons stores).


What does it do at 1,100 miles away? I wouldn't be surprised if the effective combat radius of the twin seater F/A-50 with a decent payload (bombs, IRIST etc) was no more than 250 miles or so. Not bad since it is still far cheaper than the Gripen C or an F-16 but then it is also less capable. A lot less capable in terms of mission or range/payload flexibility. But for those making the decision, an aircraft that can double up (either as is or as part of a mixed fleet) as a trainer helps make it worth it for some .

What other aircrafts are out there that offer similar performance? Thanks


Depends upon what you want to use it for. A trainer and a light attack aircraft? Then the M-346FA (and its Russian and Chinese cousins) deserves a look as well, especially given the upgrades to its targeting suite (Grifo-E AESA, targeting pod, SDR etc). But if you want a supersonic trainer that also doubles up as a supersonic point defense and strike aircraft then the F/A-50 is a more attractive option though in most range payload scenarios the supersonic envelope would be tiny.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jul 2020 18:49

GE awarded F-15EX engine contract ahead of potential competition


General Electric (GE) has been awarded USD101.3 million to launch engine production for the Boeing F-15EX Advanced Eagle combat aircraft, ahead of the US Air Force (USAF) potentially opening the requirement up to competition.

The firm-fixed-price contract announced on 30 June covers Lot 1 production of the F110-GE-129 engine through to 30 November 2022.

The USAF had always intended to sole-source GE for production of the F-15EX engine claiming that, with the F110-GE-129 already certified for installation, any competition could add up to three-years to the programme. However, following a protest from rival provider Pratt & Whitney, the service issued a sources sought notification on 15 May in which it asked for bids to build up 461 engines to power 144 aircraft (plus spares). Responses to that request were due to have been submitted in early June, with any request for proposals to follow after. Should the USAF decide it does require a second supplier, these alternate engines could potentially be introduced from Lot 2 onwards.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jul 2020 19:03

This is a major boost to distributed training capability using these very high fidelity simulators. This also gives them the opportunity to train alongside aircraft that they normally may not be because of classification or just the logistical complexities of getting together for extended training etc.

F-35 simulators can now team up with other fighter sims for virtual combat


U.S. Air Force F-35 pilots at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, will now be able to step into a simulator and train alongside virtual F-16s, F-15s and other aircraft, a Lockheed Martin executive said Wednesday.

Air Combat Command formally accepted Lockheed’s Distributed Mission Training system on June 22 after a final test on June 18. During that test, four F-35 simulators at Nellis carried out a virtual mission with pilots in F-22, F-16 and E-3 AWACs simulators at other bases, said Chauncey McIntosh, Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 training and logistics.

“We did originally intend to deliver this in the April time frame, but Nellis Air Force Base did shut down some operations due to the COVID crisis,” he told reporters in a July 1 briefing. “We worked very hard with both the [F-35 Joint Program Office] and the United States Air Force to ensure as soon as the facilities were re-stood up and open, that we were there to deliver this capability.” Although F-35 pilots in a simulator could previously train with up to three other F-35 sims at the same site, the DTS system allows for those pilots to fly digitally with a large number of varying types of aircraft, as long as the simulators can operate on the same network.

Lockheed previously connected F-35 simulators to other aircraft sims in its test lab, but the June 18 test was the first time F-35 simulators linked to a mass of other simulators for a virtual mission in a highly contested environment, Lockheed said in a news release. F-15s will also be able to connect into the DMT system.

The next step, McIntosh said, will be installing the DMT capability at Naval Air Station Lemoore this fall and to Marine Corps Naval Air Station Miramar in spring 2021. Both bases are in California.

However, some limitations will still exist, even as new DMT locations are spun up. The capability is “very scalable to other platforms,” McIntosh said, but currently only F-35, F-22, F-16, F-15 and E-3 simulators are supported by DMT. McIntosh also previously told Defense News that the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as well as the United Kingdom, which also plans to acquire the DMT system, won’t be able to train together because they use different networks.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby m_saini » 03 Jul 2020 13:05

South Korea completes development of indigenous AESA radar for KF-X Program

  1. Agency for Defense Development and Hanwha Systems have finished development of AESA radar for the KF-X Korean Fighter Program.
  2. First radar will be publicly unveiled on August 12th at an official event.
  3. This radar is capable of simultaneously detecting and tracking over 1,000 targets.
  4. This radar passed Critical Design Review (CDR) in September 26, 2019 and has been undergoing aerial testing since.
  5. US Congress refused technology transfer of AESA, which was among the "4 critical technology" (AESA radar, EO TGP / IRST / RF Jammer) that were promised by Lockheed Martin with the purchase of F-35A Lightning II.
  6. South Korea independently developed the radar and Israeli ELTA Systems assisted in aerial testing. The prototype radar was said to be very positively received by Israeli personnel.
  7. This radar will undergo further testing aboard prototype KF-X aircraft, which will be rolled out next year.

basant
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby basant » 03 Jul 2020 15:40

^^^
Tracking 1000 targets for a fighter? I must be dreaming.

Armuan
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Armuan » 08 Jul 2020 17:44

https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/rayt ... -contract/

Raytheon Technologies Inks $2.3 Billion Missile Defense Contract

"...has secured a $2.27 billion contract to manufacture seven gallium nitride (GaN)-based Army/Navy Transportation Surveillance and Control Model 2 radars (AN/TPY-2) as part of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD)..."

"...is part of the U.S. foreign military sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

"Fourteen AN/TPY-2 radars have been produced, with half of them field-operated by US-THAAD systems. Of those, five operate in forward-based mode for the U.S., while two are part of foreign military sales."

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Jul 2020 18:09

^^ These are 25,000+ Transmit/Receive module (9+ sq. meter array) X-band Module Gallium Nitride AESA radars and are going to be the largest GaN powered X band radars in the world until the SBX is upgraded in a couple of years. Looking at the radar OEM's and the market at large, no one else, and possibly not even all other military players combined currently have a set production capacity to produce this much military grade X-band GaN modules for missile defense, airborne radars etc. The Saudi's couldn't get the GaAs radars because by the time they finalized their contract Raytheon had already switched its TPY-2 production to GaN.

The contract to move this radar (and the associated family (SBX) ) over to GaN was awarded back in 2016 -

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a contract modification to develop a transition to production process to incorporate Gallium Nitride, or GaN, components into existing and future AN/TPY-2 radars. This initial effort will support the transition from Gallium Arsenide to GaN technology, which would further modernize the ballistic missile defense radar and drive down system obsolescence.

A critical element in the ballistic missile defense system, Raytheon's AN/TPY-2 continually searches the sky for ballistic missiles.
As demonstrated in other Raytheon-developed military radar applications, Gallium Nitride has the capability to enhance range, increase detection and discrimination performance and lower production costs.

Currently fielded AN/TPY-2 radars use Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) based transmit/receive modules to emit high power radiation. Raytheon and MDA are pursuing a retrofit approach to leverage Gallium Nitride elements.

"GaN components have significant, proven advantages when compared to the previous generation GaAs technology," said Raytheon's Dave Gulla, vice president of the Integrated Defense Systems Mission Systems and Sensors business area. "Through this effort, Raytheon will develop a clear modernization upgrade path for the AN/TPY-2 radar, enabling the system to better defend people and critical assets against ballistic missile threats at home and abroad." LINK


The US Army will get its first GaN AN/TPY-2 sometime in 2021 so it seems KSA will be operating more modern radars until the US Army upgrades all of its sets.

Compared to other Missile defense systems out there, THAAD has a very clear and distinct discrimination advantage and most of that is due to the X band radar. For pure range, efficiency and to save cost they could have gone in for an S band, or an L band solution. It would have been able to see longer, operate with less cooling and power and would have been much much cheaper to buy. But not even S-band would give them as good a discrimination as X band does.

Discrimination is the primary challenge when dealing with medium and intermediate ranged missiles, and particularly when these radars operate in forward based mode where they are the forward looking eyes for the US Navy's AEGIS which itself uses S-band radars and can use that better discriminating ability of a forward deployed sensor. The higher frequency BMD sensor allows them to better optimize there interceptors which means a larger magazine and a more optimal shot doctrine.

This is the reason why the SB-X will still continue to be in service, even after the "compromise" S-band Long Range Discrimination Radar is fielded in Alaska. While LRDR improves discrimination by leaps and bounds over the fixed UHF band EW radars it is in essence a compromise frequency chosen to get a two-faced LRD radar operational within a budget. Initial plans for the "optimal" LRDR called for 2 separate 2-stacks of TPY's (100,000+ T/R Modules) that favored discrimination above range and wouldn't have worked from Alaska (probably needed to be in Hawaii). That would have possibly allowed SBX retirement. But since the new LRDR is at S band, SBX will live on till its replacement (likely more forward deployed radars) is fielded in the 2030s. Discrimination is even more challenging when dealing with ICBMs.


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